This past Thursday and Friday, the Batten School celebrated the dedication of Garrett Hall with the first annual “Conference on Leadership and Public Policy” and the second annual Batten Ball. The conference featured panels on innovative leadership in global development, the limitations and possibilities of transformational leadership, and the new science of leadership. Panelists included Nicole Bates, senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Stephen Skowronek, professor of political and social science at Yale University and expert on the presidency, and Noah Goldstein, assistant professor of human resources and organizational behavior at UCLA.
Thursday evening, the Batten School hosted a community reception in the Colonnade Club with President Teresa Sullivan and the Batten family. Senator Jim Webb delivered the keynote address at lunch on Friday, where the Batten community-at-large gathered for the first time in the Great Room of Garrett Hall. In his address, Senator Webb emphasized the importance of character and vision in leadership.
Over 150 people from the Batten community came to the second annual Batten Ball on Friday night, organized by special events chair Susan Sainz, to celebrate the successful inauguration weekend with food, drinks, and dancing. The Batten Council organized a silent auction, which raised more than $1800 for the Stephanie-Jean Charles Fund; combined with proceeds from the ticket sales, we raised more than $3000 for the fund.
There was competitive bidding over various silent auction items, including an authentic French dinner prepared by Wendy Perry, tickets to the UVA-Duke basketball game, and a wine-tasting tour. Toasts were given by first-year accelerated student Matthias Meyer, first-year post-grad student Nate Daugherty, second-year student Nathan Schelble, and Professor Michael Moore. Many alumni were also present, including Genevieve Heckel (Class of 2011) who conceptualized and planned the first Batten Ball.
In short, it was a lovely evening for students, faculty, and staff to relax, and enjoy each other’s company after the inaugural events. As Nathan Schelble so eloquently reminded us in his toast, the Batten School is about our relationships: “If you care about each other, if you support each other … you can accomplish anything. You can overcome any challenge – even if that challenge is Ed Olsen’s final econ exam.” With a toast to the first years and the bright future of the Batten School ending the inauguration weekend, our community will surely live up to Frank Batten’s vision of enlightened leaders.
Check out the Cavalier Daily for more coverage on the Garrett Hall inauguration events.
Post by Mary Drach